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I am a beginner to climbing and bought this ClimbX harness from Go Outdoors in the UK.

Someone at the gym today told me it is defective because the belay loop passes through the thin piece of webbing on the waist belt.

Is this harness defective?

enter image description here

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  • 6
    Your gym staff have a good eye! Thank them next time you see them. It doesn't look "defective" to me though. It looks like at some point somebody completely undid the waist belt. (That's not something you should have to do on a regular basis) And when they had it apart, the belay loop flipped backwards, and then they re-buckled the harness. I doubt any climbing harness is going to make it onto retail shelves from a recognized manufacturer, manufactured defectively. Always good to inspect before use though. Maybe it was a store return that the previous buyer messed with.
    – Billy C.
    Jun 18 at 9:08
  • I wonder if this is why I always learned to ignore the belay loop when tying in. Tie the rope through the two horizontal loops, and refrain from 'clipping in' as a climber. Of course, you can't really avoid clipping in to an auto-belay. The ones I used to use were steel cables!
    – Billy C.
    Jun 19 at 1:04
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    @egg Since the consensus here is "it is wrong, probably because somebody undid it and then returned the harness", I suggest you write to the shop, informing them that the harness you received was assembled incorrectly (maybe even file a complaint?). If it is indeed a return item, they should have inspected it; if it isn't, they should inform the manufacturer. Jun 21 at 10:57
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It certainly looks unusual, and the only Climb X harness on the Go Outdoors website (although it looks like a different model) shows the belay loop going round the tie-in loop, just like every harness I’ve seen and every harness in a quick poll of search results.

enter image description here

I’d be very surprised that the QA process would have failed so spectacularly given that someone’s life could be at risk if it goes wrong, and you do get some designs of equipment that look different to normal yet aren’t inherently unsafe.

All that said, this image that looks like the same model harness does show the tie-in loop going through the belay loop so it could well be a non-conformity.

enter image description here

I’ve just been able to recreate this situation and correct it. You need to disconnect the leg loops from the waist belt and completely undo the waist buckles. You can flip the belay loop around to the front of the tie in loop again, and carefully re-connect it all.

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  • It did not come with a manual. I've found this low resolution photo showing the same model with the belay loop passing round the tie-in loop imgur.com/a/4V44Hmv
    – egg
    Jun 17 at 22:24
  • @egg then yes, I’d say you have a non-conformity. But if that’s the case, then wow!
    – Darren
    Jun 17 at 22:25
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    @egg, let me know if my suggested fix works.
    – Darren
    Jun 18 at 8:07
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Oh, cool! I read an article about this once but didn't think it was a realistic scenario. I guess it is.

Yes, it's wrong and dangerous as shown, but it's just "assembled" wrong, and you can fix it:

  1. Disconnect the two straps in the back and the main buckle.
  2. Push the main buckle through the belay loop, so the side of the belay loop currently facing out is facing in, and the waist loop is coming around towards the camera
  3. Then "rotate" each leg loop in opposite directions (really they're just hanging)
  4. Then reconnect the buckles and leg straps.

It's confusing to describe, but I can see it.

enter image description here

Here's the article and a discussion thread and a video

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    I’m not sure about this. The two articles are talking about the strap connecting the leg loops. OP’s problem is with the waist strap and the tie in loop looks completely isolated to me, so there doesn’t seem to be any way freeing the belay loop from its current position.
    – Darren
    Jun 18 at 5:13
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    Thanks. The harness is now fixed by disconnecting the main buckle and rotating the belay loop round.
    – egg
    Jun 18 at 7:35
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    @egg Can you take an "After" picture to show that it's correct now?
    – endolith
    Jun 18 at 14:26
  • @Darren Yeah it's a little different from the article, but still the same concept
    – endolith
    Jun 18 at 14:27

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